This recipe is a basic pork filling for Chinese dumplings. See notes for suggested variations. If you make up your own variation, please share it in the comments below! This recipe is enough for about 3-3½ dozen dumplings.
Active Time: 10-15 minutes
Total Time: 30-35 minutes
- 1 lb ground pork | 454g
- 8 large napa (or Chinese) cabbage leaves | ~200g
- 4 scallion | ~115g
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger | ~12g
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
- ½ cup of loosely packed minced cilantro
- 1½ teaspoons Chinese shaoxing wine
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon + ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup water or chicken broth
- Chop the cabbage. For the white part, mince into small dice. For the leafy parts, cut into thin strips that are no more than 2 inches in length. Place in a bowl and add ½ teaspoon of salt. Mix to coat the cabbage, set aside.
- In a large heat-proof bowl, add aromatics: minced scallions (4), ginger (2 tbsp), Chinese 5-spice powder (¼ tsp), and minced cilantro (½ cup).
- Heat oil until a bamboo chopstick or skewer bubbles when inserted, ~325°F/~160°C. When it reached temperature, pour oil over aromatics.
- Add ground pork (1 lb), shaoxing wine (1½ tsp), soy sauce (1 tbsp), and salt (1 tsp) to the bowl.
- With your hand, combine the ingredients. Once everything seems well incorporated and distributed, use your fingers to stir the mixture in one direction. Continue to stir for about 30-45 seconds, and you should see the mixture begin to change to a more paste-like consistency.
- Add the water/broth (½ cup) and continue to stir in the same direction until the water is absorbed and the mixture is one cohesive “paste”.
- Cover and put the mixture into the refrigerator while the cabbage continues to wilt and sweat.
- After about 20 minutes, squeeze out as much excess water as you can from the cabbage, then add it to the rest of the filling. Give it another 15-30 second mix, still going in the same direction as before to fully incorporate the cabbage.
- There are three basic methods for cooking dumplings, it each method has a recommended (but not required) style of dough preparation. Here are a set of instructions for all 3 ways to cook dumplings!
- Dumpling fillings vary wildly from recipe to recipe, region to region, and from one type to another. Feel free to try using a different ground meat or a mix of ground meats. It is common to have a 2:1 ratio ground pork and shrimp (chopped into small pieces or even into a paste). Remember if you add shrimp or another ground meat without decreasing the amount of ground pork, then your total filling recipe will make more than the 3-3½ dozen dumplings.
- If you want more texture, try adding diced bamboo shoot or water chestnuts.
- Other common additions include rehydrated and minced black mushrooms (aka shiitake) or rehydrated and minced dried shrimp.